This post is hard to write. But I wanted to share with you the inspiration behind Tellen, in the Comstock Chronicles.
As far as the human aspect of Tellen goes, much of the credit goes to my husband. He is the joy in my life. He has a love for the earth that is hard not to admire. From growing berries and corn to seeing our grass and trees flourish, he has the epitome of a green thumb.
But we can’t forget the skin changer side of Tellen.
The wolf side of our favorite Earth Guardian came from my dog and best canine friend, Rio.
I found my dog on a craigslist ad from a shelter a few towns away. He was a six week old puppy that had been dropped off and they were looking for a new home. I went to bed that night unable to stop thinking about the puppy in the listing. I felt so compelled to reach out and see if he was still available.
So the next day I did. Longer story short, I drove home with a puppy that looked weak and likely to not make it to the end of the day. He didn’t make a sound. Not even a whimper. I started to wonder if his voice box didn’t work. But the more love I gave and the more weight he gained, his little pig-like tail got curlier by the day.
Nine years fly by and I find myself in tears as my beloved dog closed his eyes for the last time this past week. Yet, every time I cry, I also find myself thinking of every wonderful memory he gave me. He embodied love for all who were part of our family. He was the protector of my children when they played outside. He guarded my chickens from coyotes and other critters. There were also those moments when he would jump in the creek and stand right next to me to fling water off his coat. And yet, I loved every moment I got to share with this dog her stole my heart from the beginning.
Thanks to this beloved dog, the motto “Love, Family, and Honor” came into being. If you have a canine friend, take the time today to sit down and give some of that unfailing love back to those who give it so freely. You never know if you’ll get the chance tomorrow.
Vanessa is the author of the Comstock Chronicles and loves hiking, running, and exploring the mountains that make up the scenery in her books.